The Blue Angels flight demonstration team is more than just a group of individuals; brought together to represent the United States Navy and Marine Corps. This team combines the best and brightest, at the top of their craft. Their camaraderie and chemistry assure the team mission is more than just a job – it’s a passion!
Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 260 million spectators. The Blue Angels are an American air show favorite and delight audiences across the country with their precision, speed and aerobatics. During their aerobatic demonstration, the Blues fly six F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, split into the Diamond Formation (Blue Angels 1 through 4) and the Lead and Opposing Solos (Blue Angels 5 and 6). Most of the show alternates between maneuvers performed by the Diamond Formation and those performed by the Solos.
Meet The Blues
Friday, April 12,2019, at Veterans Memorial High School. Free event, open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Open House begins at 7:00 pm. Come meet all the performers of the 2019 Air Show including the Blue Angels. Get autographs and take photos with your favorite acts.
US Army Silver Wings
The Fort Benning Command Exhibition Parachute Team has a long and colorful history. Organized in 1965, the Team can trace its origins back to the inception of the Fort Benning Sport Parachute Club in 1958, which included several members of the Airborne-Air Mobility Department.
Through the 80's, 90's and into the new millennium, the mission of the "Command Exhibition Parachute Team", the "Silver Wings" is to demonstrate advanced freefall techniques, while being available for research and development of start-of-the-art precision freefall techniques and equipment, and to represent the United States Army Infantry Center and Schools at both on and off post parachute demonstrations and competitions. Since the first demonstration jump on 31 Aug 1965, the "Silver Wings" have inspired countless airborne students, supported Fort Benning events with their demonstrations and have been ambassadors of the Airborne School, Ft. Benning and the Army throughout the United States and the World. Now, after an extended hiatus from 13 July 2000 to 17 April 2004, The Silver Wings are back in action under the new team black and silver canopies that proudly display the "Master Parachutist Wings" on the bottom skin of their canopy's, the well know symbol of the Airborne School, Fort Benning, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, U.S. Army Infantry School. A new team comprised of NCOs, Officers, and Enlisted members that proudly undertake the responsibility of representing not only the great Soldiers that comprise Fort Benning, but also in representing those who serve and sacrifice every day, past, present and future in our great Army. AIRBORNE!
The A-10 and OA-10 Thunderbolt IIs are the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective and survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles. The A-10/OA-10 have excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. They can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate under 1,000-foot ceilings (303.3 meters) with 1.5-mile (2.4 kilometers) visibility. Their wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines. Using night vision goggles, A-10/ OA-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness. The Air Combat Command A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team, stationed out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, brings the aircraft to air shows around the country to showcase the unique combat capabilities of the A-10 "Warthog." They perform precision aerial maneuvers while highlighting the mission and professionalism of the men and women of the United States Air Force. Additionally, the team brings attention to the Air Force's proud history by flying formations with historical aircraft in the Air Force Heritage Flight.
With a maximum speed of 450 mph and unprecedented climbing capabilities, the F8F-2 Bearcat would likely have changed the course of the air war over the Pacific if it had arrived in time. The Bearcat was a study in competitive design. Grumman had received a captured German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter and set about to build an aircraft that would outperform it. The critical need was for an increased climb rate, and Grumman managed to double that of its own F6F Hellcat. Nearly a third of the fighter’s 9,100-lb. weight was its 2,100 hp engine. And the Bearcat still holds the record of 96 seconds from brakes off to 10,000 feet. One of four F8F fighters in the Lewis Air Legends Bearcat squadron – another is the famous Rare Bear – De-Chrome Cat wears an authentic Bearcat paint scheme, and is equipped with all new or overhauled systems including electrical, radios, avionics and hydraulics.
Development of the aircraft began during the Second World War in 1943 as an aircraft suitable for combat that harnessed the new innovation of jet propulsion; it was quickly decided to opt for a single-engine, twin-boom aircraft equipped with the Halford H.1 turbojet engine, which was later known as the de Havilland Goblin. Originally ordered as an experimental aircraft only, the decision to mass-produce the aircraft as an interceptor for the Royal Air Force (RAF) was finalized in May 1944.. Jerry has 20 years of flight experience. Jerry’s flying experience includes aircraft such as Beecraft Bonanza, Cessna 172, Citabria, Super Decathalon, SAI Marchetti, Bell Helicopters, HA-200 Casa Jet, De havilland Vampire, De havilland DH-112 Swiss Venom, L-39, and AVL-29. His ratings include Comercial, Instrument, Multi Engine, Helicopter, and jet type rating. Jerry holds an Aerobatic low level card with Jet certification.
Rob’s rise to the top started as a young airshow fan in his native New England. Earning his pilot’s license while still a teenager, Rob began flying aerobatics almost immediately, all while building valuable flight time and experience as a corporate pilot, commuter pilot, banner tower, flight instructor, ferry pilot, and operating his own aerobatic flight school. Now in his 15th year as a full-time airshow pilot, Rob has distinguished himself by blazing a trail of innovation, developing maneuvers never before seen at an airshows. “One of my goals is to take aerobatics to the next level,” Rob explains. “I want to push the limits of what can be done.” But while his impact and influence on the airshow community is undeniable, his remarkable skills at the controls of his MXS-RH are matched with a humble and approachable demeanor that has forged a unique connection with countless fans the world over.
Randy Ball - MiG-17F
Made famous by the Vietnam War, the MiG-17F was the primary enemy aircraft engaged in the skies over Vietnam by U.S. aircraft, such as the A-4, A-7, F-8, B-52, F-100, F-105 and its primary nemesis, the F-4 Phantom II.During that war and up until the F-16 entered service, it was the tightest-turning fighter in the world. When production started in the 1950s, its VK-1F engine made it one of the first production jet fighters in the world with an afterburner. The MiG-17F could carry bombs, rockets, or extra fuel tanks under its wings. In its lower nose it carried some of the largest guns ever used for air-to-air combat—two 23mm canons and one 37mm canon. The MiG-17F #1611 entered service with the Soviet bloc in March 1960 and wasn’t withdrawn from service until May 1990. Photos of the aircraft in Europe can be seen at www.fighterjets.com. The MiG-17F can maintain 8g turns (8g = 8 times the force of gravity on the pilot’s body), attain a maximum speed of 715 mph (Mach 1.04) and can climb to 30,000 feet in only 3 minutes, with an initial rate of climb better than 14,000 feet per minute. The MiG-17F was a very nimble fighter that could prove deadly unless respected when engaged by pilots with superior training and tactics such as those used by the U.S. Navy and Air Force. One moment’s complacency when fighting against the MiG-17F could prove fatal. It was flown by over 20 countries, three of which still fly it. Because of its famous heritage and great maneuverability, it makes one of the best air show jets in the world, able to stay in front of the fans while still flying at great speeds.
Beautiful and deadly. No airplane of the Second World War better deserves the title of “legend” than the Mustang. Originally configured as the P-51 and consigned to low-level reconnaissance and fighter-bomber service, the Mustang was given a radically more powerful Packard V-1650-7 engine, and designated the P-51D, gaining fame as a bomber escort in raids over Germany. Long after fighter jets took over the stage, the P-51 remained. In later versions, like La Pistolera, a second seat and dual controls were added and these Mustangs were assigned the TF model number.The wartime Mustangs were lifesavers. Marvels of contemporary technology, they were constructed with a two-section fuselage of aluminum and a unique radiator whose exhaust actually produced jet thrust. With the B-17s conducting crucial bombing raids and taking high casualties from German fighters, a fast, long-range fighter was desperately needed. The Mustang answered the call. And its reputation endured well into the 1960s. Otherwise the Ford Motor Company's most popular sports car might have been named after a different fighter.
As the recipient of the 2013 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship and the 2015 Art Scholl Award, Skip Stewart has proven to be one of the most entertaining airshow pilots in the world today. Stewart has over 10,000 hours of flying experience, being an Airline Transport Pilot, Boeing 727, and MD-11 Captain, a Certified Flight Instructor. He has owned and operated an aerobatic flight school and earned Gold Medals in regional aerobatic competitions. Stewart holds the distinction of being the first pilot to fly under a jumping motorcycle at an airshow. He also flies knife-edge while racing cars and trucks on the runway, including the Shockwave jet truck. He has even done a ribbon transfer from the back of a pickup truck to his wing while traveling at 70 mph in knife-edge flight.
In the Pacific theater of WWII the notoriously maneuverable Japanese fighters were taking a hammering from the Navy’s F4U Corsairs. The F8F Bearcats would have likely put the nail in the coffin. Thanks to a captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter, Grumman was able to design the last piston-engine aircraft used in WWII to answer the need for an aircraft with a dramatically increased rate of climb and high top speed. At 450 mph, only the new jet-powered aircraft could best the Bearcat for top speed and climb rate. Into the late 1940s, the Navy still relied on the F8F, and it remained a favorite of fighter pilots. One of four F8F fighters in the Lewis Air Legends Bearcat squadron – another is the famous Rare Bear – Tai Wun On bears the Royal Thai Air Force markings. The F8F was still on duty well into the Cold War, with 204 of the aircraft serving in the RTAF between 1951 – 1963.
It took a bigger aircraft carrier than the Navy had at the time to accommodate their first twin-engine fighter. The F7 Tigercat just wouldn't fit on the deck, and was supposed to fly from the larger Midway-class carriers, but never got the chance to prove itself in combat before the war ended. The Tigercat would get a shot in Korea, but still had a short lifespan, serving only until 1954. Even so, the F7 was fast and heavily armed, outracing the single-engine F6F Hellcat by more than 70 mph. Sadly, high landing speed and weight, among other problems, kept all but a handful of F7s off of carrier service. The Tigercat saw some service in Korea, enough to earn it a reputation with Captain Fred M. Trapnesll, famed Navy test pilot, as "the best damned fighter I've ever flown." Here Kitty, Kitty here is configured as a photo-recon aircraft, one of five flyable models in the world, and the first ever to race at the National Championship Air Races in Reno.
Kate Kyer is from Honey Grove, Texas, where she and her husband (also a professional pilot) and three dogs keep their airplanes on a flying ranch. Kate has been flying aerobatics for 22 years, and the Pitts S-2B for 20 years in aerobatic competitions and air shows. Kate began flying at the age of 16, and soloed an airplane before getting her driver’s license. She earned her commercial license, multi-engine rating, and flight instructor ratings by the age of 20. She attended the Institute of Aviation at University of Illinois. Her career progressed from flight instruction, glider towing, to single- and multi-engine charter operations. Kate was a regional captain by the age of 23, and advanced to the big jets at the age of 24. She began her jet career in the mighty DC-8, flying all three seat positions on that aircraft spanning 18+ years. Kate is currently a captain for a major cargo airline on Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft flying intra-Asia and European routes. She has been flying professionally for more than 30 years, and has over 17,000 hours of flight time in various single and multi-engine aircraft.
Check out Kate’s Facebook page: Kate Kyer Aerobatics!
Air Show performers are subject to change.